Nik's Technology Blog

Travels through programming, networks, and computers

Configuring FTP for Windows Server 2008

Setting up FTP on Windows Server 2008 isn’t as easy as in previous versions and the steps you need to take vary depending on what version of IIS you have installed.

Unless you upgrade to IIS 7.5, FTP in IIS 7 is still managed with IIS 6 Manager!

FTP configuration in IIS 7

Failed to Retrieve Directory Listing

The first hurdle I encountered when trying to connect using Filezilla was the error message “Failed to Retrieve Directory Listing”.  Filezilla was able to connect but couldn’t list the files in the remote folder.

A work around to this is to run Filezilla in active mode (Edit > Settings > Connection > FTP > Active), but some programs that use FTP such as Windows Live Writer can’t be set to use active and prefer passive FTP.  Read more about active and passive FTP.

Configuring Passive FTP on IIS

Configuring Passive FTP on IIS essentially involves configuring FTP port ranges in IIS for the passive connection and then opening up those ports in Windows Firewall on the server.

Depending on what version of IIS you have installed I can verify that both of these methods work.  Although the c:\Inetpub\adminiscripts folder didn’t exist on my server so I ended up getting them from a Windows Server 2003 machine.

My advice would be to upgrade to IIS 7.5.

Where’s the POP3 Service in Windows Server 2008?

I’ve recently upgraded my virtual server to a Windows Server 2008 box and to my annoyance noticed that Microsoft have removed the POP3 Service that shipped with Windows Server 2003.

I know that POP3 is old and a bit rubbish, but it was perfect for my purposes.

Rather than shell out for a commercial mail server I suggest you try the free hMailServer which is a doddle to install and configure and in my opinion far better than Microsoft’s POP3 Service.


I’m using it for my POP3 and SMTP server.

Read more about hMailServer’s features which include SPAM filter and virus scanner integration and pre-configured authentication and relaying security.